Julie Mata grew up in Barrington, Illinois. She loved reading and writing from a young age and wrote her first story, Charlotte the Horse, when she was seven. Julie was the shortest person in her class in grade school. She was also the champion four-square player, mostly because she could reach those low-to-the-ground balls better than anyone else. She took horseback riding lessons during her middle school years and learned how to jump fences. She even flew over a few without the horse. One of the top highlights of her high school years included beating her high school ceramics teachers in several hotly contested ping-pong matches.
After graduating from Oberlin College, Julie worked as a reporter and part-time dee-jay at a country radio station. She went back to school and earned her masters degree from Northwestern University in broadcast journalism. After graduating, Julie landed a job as a TV reporter and covered everything from murder trials to pig races at the county fair. She also worked as a news producer and freelance writer. Along the way, Julie married and raised two daughters, three dogs, and ten chickens.
Currently, Julie co-owns a video production company with her husband in Wisconsin. She loves going to the movies, traveling, reading, writing, gardening, and having amazing adventures, like scuba diving and exploring caves (see photos below).
Julie is the author of two middle grade books, Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens (Disney Hyperion 2014), and Kate Walden Directs: Bride of Slug Man (Disney Hyperion 2015).